Any good business relationship starts with providing the customer with something they want or need. Content marketing is no different. While there are many specific goals that can be achieved with content marketing like reputation building, brand recognition, and, yes, more customers, the overarching goal of content marketing is to build relationships.
There’s a name for this type of content marketing. It’s called relationship marketing and it’s all about establishing a long-standing relationship between the customer and the business. This is accomplished by providing customers with valued information and, as a result, developing strong connections with those customers.
But in order to create those connections and get those relationships off the ground you have to give your audience what they want or need (and, ideally, keep them coming back for more!). This begs the question, “How do I know what my audience wants?”
6 Ways To Find Out What Customers Want
Early on in your content marketing days, you might find it pretty easy to figure out what your customers want. Most businesses know the most commonly asked questions their customers have and you might devote a lot of your early content to answering these questions in different formats.
After that, it gets a little harder, but not impossible, to find out what your audience wants from you. The most important thing to keep in mind when developing your content is to provide solutions. You want to solve problems, give them something that they want, and/or be a resource. Be sure to focus on the audience/customer, not on yourself/the business when providing information or solving problems.
How do you know what the customer wants? Try:
- Keyword searches. Type a few of your chosen keywords into the Google search bar and see what comes up under “Google Suggestions”. Those “suggestions” are compiled based on common searches made for that term.
- Polls on social media and/or your website. Polls are a great way to both interact with customers and get information from them at the same time. Pick a topic, product, or service and figure out a way to make a poll out of it. The results will tell you where the most interest lies and you might even get some comments with further clarification and ideas.
- Ask them! Yes, you can flat out ask your customers what they want. A great way to do this is through your email list. Customers LOVE to be asked to provide their opinion on things. It makes them feel valued and connected to your brand.
- Network. Networking never goes out of style. You can network with your peers and get their take on what their audiences are asking for lately, but you can also network with your audience itself and get input directly from them. Attend events and conventions, host an open house/sidewalk sale, or work your social media followers.
- Keep an eye on the competition. Just as you keep an eye on what products and promotions your competitors are running, you can check out what kind of content they are putting out as well. Read their blog, check their social media pages, dig deeper into their website. Find out what commenters are saying and build content around that.
- Research. There are so many ways to research these days! Hop online and check out books on the topic, read the reviews and comments to find out what was done well and what the audience found lacking – or what new questions it raised. If you have an industry association, see if they have put out any information on what customers are asking for.
Kick Off Your Relationship Marketing Efforts With Help From The Marketing Shop
Relationship marketing is a must if you’re doing content marketing. If you need help developing a relationship marketing strategy or content to meet your audience’s needs, contact The Marketing Shop for help. Schedule a consultation online or call 860-615-6182 to get started.